A more acoustic side of Warren Haynes at Belly Up Aspen
If You Go …
What: Warren Haynes and the Ashes & Dust Band
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Sunday, Nov. 29, 10 p.m.
How much: $85/GA; $185 reserved
The last time we saw Warren Haynes on stage in Aspen, it was February and he was at the helm of a freewheeling collaboration between Gov’t Mule and the jazz-rock great John Scofield at Belly Up.
This weekend, Haynes returns to the club in a decidedly quieter mode.
His new solo album, the mostly acoustic “Ashes & Dust,” was recorded with the members of the progressive bluegrass outfit Railroad Earth. The project began with songs that Haynes had prepared to record with Leon Russell, Levon Helm and T-Bone Wolk. Haynes shelved them after Helm and Wolk died. But he dusted them off after he got to know the members of Railroad Earth.
Their first meeting came when Railroad opened for Haynes and the Allman Brothers at Red Rocks Ampitheatre six years ago, a musical partnership that continued with members of Railroad joining Haynes on-stage occasionally at his solo shows. They went into the studio last year to make “Ashes & Dust,” which Haynes released in July.
The record melds Haynes’ legendary guitar and soulful, Southern-tinged vocals with his band’s wood and strings to find a fresh take on Americana with some subtle electric touches from Haynes. The rustic new songs — among them an insta-classic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” — appear primed for improvisational interludes in live performance.
Haynes is taking those 13 new tracks on the road with his Ashes & Dust Band, made up of drummer Jeff Sipe and the three-piece string section of Matt Menefee (banjo), Ross Holmes (violin) and Royal Masat (bass). They play Belly Up Aspen on Sunday.
The legion of local Haynes die-hards have gotten a taste of his quieter shows before. In 2008, for example, he played a mostly acoustic solo set at Belly Up between two hard-jamming headlining shows at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival with the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule.
The prolific Haynes, now 55, has regularly hit the road solo between his many other projects — Gov’t Mule and stints with the Dead and the Allmans among them — and found a receptive audience in Colorado.
“For some reason, the Colorado audiences love to be a part of spontaneous music and music that’s driven by improvisation, that’s a little more experimental and adventurous,” Haynes told The Aspen Times earlier this year. “Fans in that part of the country take music seriously and don’t want to be force-fed the same commercial music that everyone else is listening to.”
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